Our little 1 year old

We can hardly believe that Luke is ONE! We actually have a one year old. It's just crazy. We had a fun little birthday party for him at our house and in attendance were his family (that could be here) and his cute little friends. We're so lucky that Jeff's parents and my mom could be here to celebrate this special day with us. We know Luke doesn't know any differently but it means more than I can express to Jeff and I. Thank you for being here...

Luke is definitely on the move! He is busy, busy, busy. He absolutely loved all of his presents which included, trucks, Elmo toys, books, puzzles, blow up house with balls, stuffed animals, legos, pajamas, clothes, money, etc. The list goes on! I can honestly say that there hasn't been a gift he hasn't played with everyday since! Most of all, though, I think these have been gifts for me too! He's been playing so much more independently which means less clinging onto mommy! Yay! :)

So Jeff and I were talking about this past year and the surprises we encountered as first time parents. We knew it'd be challenging, yet rewarding, but honestly, now that I have experienced it, I realize how clueless I was before!! Here are a few "highlights" of our discussion:

1. How on earth a little being can poop so much - seriously... it's ridiculous! And that they poop that much and still gain weight..
2. How hard it can be on a marriage - it's a whole new understanding of expectations between one another and they constantly change as the baby changes too. It's hard but of course so worth it.
3. How important sleep is... for mommy, daddy AND baby - it's hard to come by early on and sleep deprivation is hard to avoid. It can really take a toll on us all - physically, emotionally and spiritually. I heart sleep. :)
4. How every month brings more joy, love and laughs to our lives. Each stage just gets better and better! I LOVE it!!
5. How we can love love love our sweet boy so very much ... more than we ever could've imagined loving anything or anyone. I can just look at Luke and begin to cry and thank the Lord for such a precious gift. He is just the light of my life - even when he is misbehaving. It has helped me comprehend God's love for us so much more than I did before.

So this list could go on and on and this list changes for us on a daily basis! But all in all it's been a year of great blessings. Challenging yet rewarding, just as all the wise women tell me. :)

So these days Luke is climbing on everything, is opening drawers, is reaching onto the counter tops (even though he can't see anything he just knows something's within reach!), loves being outside, loves his walks and runs in the stroller, is practically running, falls a lot, enjoys his books (or usually the same book over and over and over again), is learning to follow instructions (for example: can you bring this to daddy?), brings me his shoes and sticks his foot out for me to put it on (even if we're not going anywhere), still enjoys his Baby Einstein videos, is eating well, is sleeping well (and later in the morning... yay!), should be saying his first word any day now (he talks A LOT but no "real" words yet), is down to one bottle at bed time which only has milk in it now, has all of his baby teeth with the exception of his incisors which are currently on their way, and laughs a whole lot! He is a very, very sweet little boy with a lot of energy and a lot of smiles... truly a precious gift.

And as for Luke's mommy and daddy... well... we are great! We are not planning on baby #2 any time too soon for those of you who keep asking and for those secretly wondering. We'll let you know when the time comes though. :) I am not working too much which has been a blessing but a sacrifice at the same time. I absolutely love (most days) being home with Luke but obviously not working full time means less of an income which means a little more sacrifice on our part. Jeff's job is going really good right now... praise God for a job, right? We really can't complain.

We'll be staying home for the holidays (boo hoo) but will enjoy another visit from my mom in February (yay!) and Jeff's parents will be back for a couple of months come March (yay!). Jer, Tam and our sweet little nephew and niece will be here for Spring Break again and so we are very excited for what's in store the first part of next year! I am getting closer to feeling brave about traveling to NY with Luke on my own but I'm not quite there yet! Hopefully we'll get there some time in the next year or so. We have so many special people to see!

So here are some pics to enjoy! Love to you all! xoxo


Summer Time Fun

It's been so long since we've posted! I honestly cannot believe how quickly time is passing these days. We just returned from our summer trip to Vancouver and thought it'd be a good time to post. Let's see... what have we been up to? As many of you know, Luke is now walking and he is walking very well. He took his first steps the day after he turned 9 months and it took a few weeks before he got past about 15 steps or so. But I wouldn't be surprised if he started running tomorrow... he's just so sturdy on his feet!

Next month, Luke will turn one! We're so excited to celebrate this special day and we've been taking some time recently to reflect on this past year. We both agree that it's been the most challenging year we've ever had in our lives but at the same time are overwhelmed with the joy and love Luke has brought to our family and even just to each of us as individuals. He is an amazing little boy with a very sweet, but active, personality. And when I say active, I feel that's an understatement! He's crazy but so so much fun too. Most people say "well, he's a boy!" but I think he's even more hyper than most other boys I've seen! So we're hoping for a little mellowing out over the next year. :-) But all in all I am really enjoying this stage with him. He is sleeping well, eating well, "speaking" well, playing well... it's definitely my favorite stage so far.

So enjoy the photos and we hope to be in touch sooner next time around!



Just for fun!

These are sure to bring a smile to your face! How cute is he?! :)

He is FINALLY starting to say his B's. He's also saying his G's and maybe a K? We're not sure what the sound he makes with that one is. And he has said "M" a couple of times. It's music to our ears!!

And here he is just totally cracking up. So cute! :)


Happy Father's Day!

We had a great first Father's Day honoring Jeff and all he does for our family. He has been so wonderful with Luke and so helpful to me. It's been so fun to watch Luke light up when he sees Jeff first thing in the morning or when Jeff gets home from work. He most definitely LOVES his daddy and I get teary eyed watching their interactions. I love it! We enjoyed an early morning at the driving range, then church and then we had our friends, Scott, Erin & Nora over for a BBQ. Nora is Luke's BGF (best girl friend). :) Luke surprised daddy with an "andex chart" as his Father's Day gift. I think it might've been his favorite gift ever! (nerd) :)

Luke is doing really well. He has eight teeth now and you'd know it if he got your fingers in his mouth! Those things are sharp! EVERYTHING goes into the mouth right now. I've read that it's part of their developmental process but when you see him putting rocks in his mouth, it kind of makes you wonder. :) But yes, he is our little explorer. He is crawling and pulling himself up every chance he gets. And he loves to have us help him walk. He is also standing on his own for seconds at a time. He's so strong and we're thinking he will be walking on his own pretty soon. YIKES! It definitely has changed things... I'm a lot more tired at the end of the day trying to keep up with him! But at the same time, it's SO much fun!

So that about sums it up... pretty exciting stuff. :) The weather's heating up and we're hoping for some type of escape out of the heat at some point this summer. Hopefully we'll get the opportunity but we don't have any summer plans... for the first time in a long time! My, how life has changed!

We'll be in touch again soon... xoxo


Conversation with Luke...

5 Longgg Days

Jeff comes home from his golfing trip tonight and we are so excited! I showed Luke a picture of Jeff yesterday and he started waving his arms really fast and doing this fun little noise he does. Although it's been a long five days all by myself with the little guy, it's been really good for the most part. The whining tends to get on my nerves after a while when it is non-stop but the poor little guy was cutting his 3rd tooth! I found it yesterday.. his upper left one. Finally! It seems like we've been waiting a while for this one to come in! Also yesterday, I went into his room when he woke up from his nap because I heard him crying and there he was... just sitting up in the middle of his crib! He has been sitting up by himself for a while now if we put him like that but this was the first time he actually pulled himself to this position all on his own. And I know it won't be long before he is pulling himself up and standing. I can see him trying really hard already. I think I'm gonna have my hands full! :)


Happy Easter - a little late!

Luke will be 7 months old in just 9 days! I honestly cannot believe how quickly the time passes. He is a busy little boy and we have been a very busy mommy & daddy these past couple of months! We have had so much going on ... both good & not so good.

We received joyful news of the early arrival of our new niece, Kaitlyn Marie. She was born on April 3rd and is absolutely precious! We were in Vancouver last week and it was a huge blessing to meet her! She is very, very cute and we can't wait to see her again later this year!

Sadly, Jeff's great Auntie Kay passed away at the end of March due to a fall she took that did some irreparable damage. She was a great woman and we appreciated the support she showed us throughout our relationship. Quite a few people traveled here for her service but it was especially nice to visit with Jeff's Auntie Lorraine and Uncle Ed. Uncle Ed was here for a few days and Auntie Lorraine stuck around for almost two weeks. This time turned out to be even more of a special gift than we had thought... Auntie Lorraine passed away on April 24th due to a fall she took down her stairs. She was Jeff's dad's youngest sister .. such a fun loving, easy going woman .. we will greatly miss her.

A few weeks ago, we said good-bye to our good friend Michael who moved to Tokyo, Japan to teach English. He has been living in San Diego for the past few years but we've kept in great touch and have enjoyed his many visits. We're so excited for him but it was still sad to see him go.

Kelsey and Kristin Lindberg came for a visit on Easter Sunday for a few days! I hope they had a good time. :) It was SO nice to have extra hands around and I know Luke enjoyed having some new faces to look at. :) They were supposed to babysit Luke so Jeff and I could have a night out but he got his first fever and ended up being pretty sick for a couple of days. Bummer for us but hopefully they'll be back!

So off to Vancouver we went last week for Auntie Lorraine's service. Luke did very well on the plane, both ways. He did get sick on our way there so the first couple of days he slept wonderfully and was pretty low key. He really enjoyed waking up with grandma and grandpa though and I enjoyed it too because I was able to go back to sleep. :) We spent a week there but Jeff was working remotely so we didn't get out as often as we usually do. It was so nice to see family and friends that we hadn't seen in a while and we're looking forward to our trip back later this year.

Now on to the Lukester! He's eating lots of different foods and I'm pretty sure he's enjoying them. It's so hard to figure it all out but I think we've finally got it down. He's been sitting up all by himself and today he started crawling! It was so exciting and such a proud moment for us! It wasn't 100% crawling... more like 1/2crawl 1/2 mermaid?? But I think it still counts. :) He's not talking much more than he was before. I'm hoping to hear a little "da da" "ma ma" some time soon though. :) His nights are "okayyyy". He was doing really well sleeping through the night and then the teething began. And then he was sick. And then he was starting solid foods so you don't know if he has gas. It's always something! So he's back to waking up once or twice per night... we're working on that this weekend.

We DO have a video camera now... thank you tax refund! :) We'll try and get a little video of Luke posted soon. It'll be so fun to give a glimpse of his personality to those of you who have never met him! But for now, enjoy the slide show below and we'll try to post again sooner next time!


Two Celebrations: One for 3 Years & One for 5 Months!

Gosh, where does the time go?! Not only did we celebrate Luke's 5 month "birthday"... we also celebrated our 3 year anniversary on the same day! Although we didn't do much on the actual day, we'll most likely go to a "nice" dinner next weekend and Jeff's parents will babysit for us. I really enjoyed the evening though because Luke was in bed by 7 which gave us an earlier relaxation time. We ordered Chili's take out and watched The Biggest Loser and it was perfect! And it's actually exactly what we did last year too! :) I wonder what we'll do next year!

Luke is becoming more and more like his own little person and it's amazing to be a part of. He is such a sweet, curious, active boy! Not to mention extremely cute! :) This past month we endured "cry it out" bootcamp! For those who have not heard of it, we got the "okay" from Luke's doctor to start letting him cry for lengthy periods of time during the night because he was unable to put himself back to sleep. Although some moms let their babies cry until they fall asleep without going to them at all, this was not the approach we took. We did go in and let him know that we loved him and did not "abandon" him at specific time intervals that we were comfortable with and it ended up taking about 3 nights. It's been three full weeks now and he generally goes to bed around 7/7:30 and doesn't wake up until about 5:30/6:00 but will go back to sleep once we give him his pacifier until about 7/7:30. We're happy with that! And at that point he usually wakes up pretty happy and will play in his crib until we come in. There's nothing better than starting the day with his cute little gummy smile! Welll... maybe not so gummy anymore...

This brings me to the news of announcing Luke's first tooth! We found it this morning and it is his bottom right one. He's had a lot of other recent firsts too... he went swimming this weekend and he started eating cereal. Everything has gone better than expected and it's been so much fun! So what else has he been doing? Luke has been rolling around, talking a lot (and loudly! mostly "ahhhhhh" and grunt noises), trying to sit on his own, attempting to "army crawl", and he likes to stand like a big boy too. We also started him on a sippy cup which he doesn't quite get the hang of yet but we were impressed with how well he did for his first few times.

Luke was able to meet his Canadian friends, Finn Sawatzky and Vienna Voth, last week while they're here visiting for Spring Break. Finn is almost exactly two months older than Luke and Vienna was born the day before Luke. The three of them were pretty cute checking each other out. It's times like this that we question a possible future move to Vancouver! Luke would have so many friends there ... as would we! :)

Next month we welcome Kelsey and Kristin Lindberg's visit during their Easter break! They are the daughters of Jeff's cousin coming from Michigan. They are 17 and 15 .. is anyone else thinking what I'm thinking? BABYSITTERSSSSSS! :)

Enjoy the pictures and we'll be in touch again soon! XOXO

In the upper right hand corner of the slide show is an "Options" tab.. if you click on that and check the box for "captions" it'll include my notes for each picture. Not sure why it's not showing up automatically!


Some of Luke's "firsts"!

Sucking his thumb! (this was in early January)

Wish he'd find it in the middle of the night! :)

Sitting in his Bumbo chair a little too soon!

Hanging out in the bathroom sink while mommy did a few things.

I'm honestly surprised he hasn't been there sooner!

On his way to Texas to visit his grandma, great auntie and.....

his great grandma! He was so much fun the whole time we were there!


Luke is 3 months old!

This past weekend our dear friend Stephanie Flies took some photos of Luke to capture some sweet moments on his three month birthday. Steph is our friend who took his pictures at the hospital when he was born too! I knew I would never be able to take them as good as she could so thank you Steph, once again, for your thoughtfulness and for the time you took to do this for us!



Happy New Year!

Kristina: The holidays have come and gone so quickly this year. I was sad as we took down all of our Christmas decorations this past weekend. We had a wonderful holiday season especially with Luke joining us in the celebrations. We also had a visit from Jeff's brother, Jeremy, his wife, Tammie, and their son, Joshua. Josh turned one this past August and will welcome his new sibling some time in April of this year. It was so fun to see how much he's changed since we last saw him in early August! I think he had fun too playing with his cousins, Alyse and Olivia. They were quite the little helpers with Josh and Luke and are going to be great babysitters one day!

Christmas Eve is always special as we attend the candlelight service at church and sing Christmas carols & hymns. This year was a little different since Luke "preferred" to be in the lobby instead of the sanctuary but I still got to listen from there. I ended up taking him to the nursery and playing with him in there which kept him quite happy. After service, we went to Jeff's parent's house with his parents and Jen, Ryan and the girls. Luke stayed quite alert for the whole evening and that night... a Christmas miracle... he slept straight through until 6 a.m.!! After feeding him, I put him back down and he slept until 8 a.m.!! It was the best gift ever! He hasn't done it again since but that's okay... it's coming... :)

Christmas Day we spent at our home in the morning. Luke had a few presents to open which we of course opened for him but he did take the time to look at each gift and reach out to them. He received lots of Baby Einstein videos, some cute outfits, a book, a very colorful musical elephant and some great toys. He also received a savings bond & some money (Jeff is excited to open Luke's very first bank account!). We appreciate everyone's special thoughts & generosity!

The rest of the week was spent mostly with family and it was good to bring Luke out and about to see new things. I think he gets tired of being in the house so much but I'm still not quite confident enough to be toting him around with me unless we're going to a friend or family member's house. Especially when I know how cranky he gets right before his naps! He's napping for about two hours about every hour and a half to two hours so there's not a lot of awake time in between when you factor in his feedings. He's done pretty well though for as much as we were on the go this week.

New Year's Day and the day after marked another special time for us... Luke rolled over! The first day from his tummy to his back and the next day from his back to his tummy! It was so exciting! It's just amazing how strong he is getting. We also put him in his Jumperoo on New Year's Day. He can't quite reach the ground yet so we put something under his feet and also something around his torso to keep him upright. His head is very strong now but he does get tired after holding it up for so long that he'll just slump over. I've caught him a couple of times with his head on the tray of the Jumperoo and he's just sucking on a toy or the tray itself while resting his head! We also played Peek a Boo for the first time and he just giggled and giggled. The next day though he didn't even smile for Peek a Boo. Funny how something works one day and the next .... not so much... oh well!!

Anyhoo.. that's the latest and greatest from the Heptings here in Arizona. We wish you a very Happy and Healthy 2009! May you and your families be blessed!